A starving girl who became a symbol of the Yemen crisis dies

A starving girl who became a symbol of the Yemen crisis dies
Picture of Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Tyler Hicks showed the emaciated girl lying on a bed at a UNICEF mobile hospital in Aslam, Yemen, on October 18th.

The unmistakable photo of such a young child – Hussain is suffering from severe acute malnutrition – was a symbol of the brutal civil war that has brought millions to the brink of hunger.

Hussein's mother, Mariam Ali, said her heart was "broken," the Times reported Thursday.

"Amal always smiled, now I'm worried about my other kids," she said in a telephone interview with the newspaper. She said Amal died on October 26, according to the Times.

Following the international uproar over the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Amal's image was demanded by US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo for a truce over the next 30 days.

The three-year conflict between the US-backed Saudi Arabian-led coalition and Houthis, which has been aligned in Iran, has devastated Yemen and killed at least 10,000 people.

UN experts at the World Food Program say that the coalition's bombing of civilians is a potential war crime and that the country's partial blockade has put 12 million men, women and children into the worst famine in 100 years.

In an interview with CNN on Thursday, United Nations UN envoy to the United Nations in Yemen, Martin Griffiths, affirmed that Khashoggi's "catalysed" calls of October 2 call for peace in Yemen.

He added that the most urgent reason for American foreign policy in Yemen is the threat of hunger.

"The threat of famine is a very real threat and there is a risk that the number of people in Yemen who are at risk of dying of hunger or hunger will double, which is an urgent factor," he said.

Griffiths warned that the alternative to peace would be "devastating", leading to an increase in hunger, terrorism and other regional instability, as well as compromising the trade routes used to access Europe.

Journalist Hakim Almasmari contributed to this report from Sana'a, Yemen.

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